CSI's Holiday Gathering

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Event description
Gather with the community to celebrate the holiday season and mark the end of a year we’re not soon to forget!

About this Event

The holiday party season is quickly approaching and it’s got us wondering, “What will December be without an epic CSI bash?”

CSI is all about community. Gathering is what we do. While we can’t host IRL cocktail/mocktail or cookie competitions this year, or dance in the Annex Garage all night, we CAN host a blow out, COVID-safe, online party - CSI-style.

Enter Gather.Town. It’s a virtual gathering space built to mimic real life interactions. Walk up to people and their videos and voices appear on your screen. Walk away and they disappear. Just like real life, almost. We love it and we can’t wait to share the spaces we’ve built with you.

Chat, play games, explore with coworkers, go it alone and meet other members. Bring your team, invite your board, and let us host a virtual gathering to celebrate you and all you’ve accomplished (and endured) this year. Gather with the community to celebrate the holiday season and mark the end of a year we’re not soon to forget!

Event Schedule

5pm The Holiday Gathering begins: Gather.town & GoogleMeet open, The Cookie Quest Commences

5-7pm Tarot Readings with Madame Laura

6pm Making the Perfect Holiday Drink with Jane Zhang & Temperance Cocktails

7pm A Holiday Wish - remarks from Tonya Surman, CEO, CSI Toronto

7:15pm The Annual BowTie Award honouring the excellence of a community member

7:30pm Dance, Explore, and Chat the night away!

Join us for the best virtual party of the holiday season.

How To Guide for Holiday Gathering Attendees

Looking for set-up instructions, a run-down of navigation, and where to find tech support if you need them? Read our How to Gather With Us: How To Guide before getting started.

Accessibility of the Event

The Holiday Gathering is being hosted through a combination of the Gather.town platform and GoogleMeet conferencing service.

Attendees will be sent a link to sign into CSI’s Gather.town space where they can log-in to move around a grid map of a virtual world, and speak or chat with other attendees through video and text chat based on their proximity to one another on the map.

Alternatively, attendees can book an EventGuide and obtain a dedicated conference link to join from their computer or call from their phone. The Event Guide will present the gather.town world to them via screen sharing and live voice description.

Guides will:

  • Name and customize the attendee’s avatar according to verbal instruction
  • Show, describe, or read the Gather.town map and provide options to navigate, explore, and participate in activities.
  • Enable participation in any activities the attendee would like to participate in, by capturing their contributions and submitting them.
  • Accompany the attendee to conversations with other guests, and on request, disable their audio for a predetermined period of time to provide privacy.

To book a Guide for the Holiday Gathering, please email gonzalo@socialinnovation.ca by Tuesday, December 15th, 2020.

Technical Accessibility Details

Gather.town Event Venue Accessibility

Thanks to UBICOMP 2020 for their work outlining specific accessibility barriers of Gather.Town. The below specifics pull from their research but have been updated to be accurate for The CSI Holiday Gathering 2020.

The Gather.town platform does not currently provide information about their accessibility online.

Screen Reader Support: Gather.town was with Apple Voice over, and found it impossible to navigate the virtual world. As I moved my avatar no verbal feedback was given on its location nor what virtual spaces or other avatars were nearby. It was possible to navigate the UI using a screen reader to chat to all which would facilitate wayfinding or asking an SV for help, but I was unable to chat with a specific user. You are able to have your avatar follow another to facilitate wayfinding.

Captioning: Gather.town does not support captioning, though interactions with other attendees happen through video chat which facilitates lip reader and/or signing.

Low Hand Dexterity: Gather.town does not afford moving your avatar by voice. It is possible to move one’s avatar using mouse keys, and the “x” key starts a video chat with nearby users. There are no other key commands to allow one to chat, quickly navigate to a specific room, or access menu items (map, raise hand, set status, setup, etc.).

Accessibility Support & Booking a Guide

A Guide can be booked for the event by emailing gonzalo@socialinnovation.ca. Please specify what time you plan to arrive. Guides will be accessed through google.meet conferencing software, and provide navigation, verbal description, and closed captioning of conversations. A dedicated link will be sent to attendees the morning of the event.

Alternatively, you can have your own support worker provide assistance, however there may be limitations to their ability to share your video with other event attendees. A map of the event space will be available to guides and support workers through the Gather.town platform during the event. If this is of interest please email gonzalo@socialinnovation.ca to discuss.

GoogleMeet Accessibility

Google.meet is a free video conferencing service with built in chat and closed captioning. Please visit GoogleMeet to review specific accessibility information of the tool.

Happy Gathering!

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